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The designer Monica Förster talks about beautiful walks, romantic restaurants and why summer in Stockholm is the best.
Say you only have one last meal in life; what restaurant in Stockholm will you go to and what will you have?
If it were my last meal, I’d stay at home and have dinner with my family. My husband is a great cook, and because he’s a vegetarian he’s very good at vegetarian food, but also getting better at fish and seafood. Right now he’s making amazing moules frites.
So if it was your second last meal then?
Then I’d go to Akki Sushi at Folkungagatan 7 and order their sashimi. I like simple and fresh food without too many ingredients and with distinguishable tastes.
What fashion shop in Stockholm do you frequent the most?
Jus (Brunnsgatan 7). Ulrika who runs the shop has an amazing feeling for picking up the right things and carries several of my favourite brands, like Ann Demeulemeester, Margiela and Swedish brand Rodebjer. I’d describe the style as a bit dark and goth-inspired – in a good way. In addition they have nice jewellery and accessories and also organize exhibitions in the shop.
How do you spend an afternoon of cultural activities in Stockholm?
“Oh, a cultural afternoon for me does not mean going to galleries, but rather go for a stroll. And going to a restaurant – food is also culture. I’d go for a long walk from Södermalm through the city. First take the stairs down from Fjällgatan to Fotografiska (Stadsgårdshamnen 22) and check out the exhibition there before stopping at Grand Hôtel for an afternoon tea or a cocktail in Cadierbaren (Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8). Afterwards, a walk to The Modern Museum and The Museum of Architecture (Excercisplan 4) is really nice. Back in the city I’ll pass through some galleries before dinner at Sturehof (Stureplan 2).”
What part of the city is most ”you” and why?
One would’ve maybe guessed that my favourite part would be Södermalm since I live and work there, but honestly I think every neighbourhood has it’s own charm. Södermalm is fun because there’s a lot going on, new restaurants, bars, shops and creative places opening. Östermalm, Djurgården and Gärdet on the other hand has a slower pace and a calm that I miss on Södermalm.
What is your favourite walk in town?
I have many, but one of them starts on Södermalm: walk up to Fjällgatan and have a look at the view, wander down to Katarinavägen, through Gamla Stan and onwards towards Norrmalm where it’s actually a lot nicer to walk than one might think. An alternative is to make a turn towards City Hall after going through Gamla Stan and walk along Norr Mälarstrand before going back to Södermalm via Västerbron. A tip is to borrow a bike to save time.
What restaurant would you rather go to for a romantic date?
We’ll go to Sardin (Skånegatan 79) and have tapas. It’s relaxed, small, local and incredibly nice. Nicole who runs the place always has good suggestions on what to order. If we are in the city we’ll have sushi at Berns Asiatiska (Berzelii Park 9).
What bar in Stockholm do you frequent the most?
La Vecchia Signora (Åsögatan 163) on Södermalm, an Italian place with lots of good wines. My eight-year-old son and I usually sit at the bar and have his number one favourite – pasta vongole. It’s nice there: small, Italian and with only a few seats at the bar.
Where do you find the most exciting design in Stockholm?
At our showroom on Östgötagatan 18. I also enjoy Svenst Tenn (Strandvägen 5) more and more. I never grow tired of their things; they’ve got an aesthetic that doesn’t grow old and amazing quality. They also have a lot of hand chosen things, from jewellery to china, that you can’t find anywhere else. I also like Nordiska Galleriet (Nybrogatan 11) and Asplund (Sibyllegatan 31) a lot, they’ve got a good mixture of Scandinavian and international design, and a great sense of selecting interesting things. Another tip is to pass by Skultunas new showroom on Grev Turegatan 18 that we made flowerpots for.
What three sights in Stockholm would you recommend as must-sees to a relative visiting from the countryside?
The Vasa Museum (Galärvarvsvägen 14). It’s rather incredible actually, even the house itself, with the masts sticking out. One should also see the view from Fjällgatan and go for a walk in the old neighborhoods on the hill, whilst there you should buy ice cream from the kiosk on Fjällgatan. Another beautiful view over the city is from Kaknästornet (Mörka Kroken 28-30), which is also worth visiting.
What time of year do you think is the best in Stockholm?
A boring answer, but I have to say summer. The winter is so long, so when spring and summer finally arrives the whole city comes alive. Suddenly it’s fun to go out for dinner and see your friends again.